As the end of semester is coming, there is mixed hope and tiredness. The hope could be a no assignment winter break or a Christmas celebration. At the same time, our strength and capability might decrease daily. For some of us, we might feel drained. According to Matthew 25: 14-30, I would like to compare the bags of gold to our strength and capacity. If we were the servant who received five bags of gold from our master, now we might feel like we only have one bag of gold left. At this point, keeping our good work on might not always sounds motivating and exciting. It sounds more tempting to bury one bag of gold we have in the ground so we can have a moment of rest.
Have you been saying this in your prayer lately? “Lord, I am tired. I am so ready for the semester to be done.” Though we try to keep our healthy rhythm of life, take sabbath rest, and do activities that recharge our soul and body, it is not enough to replace the accumulated fatigue.
As I was meditating on the parable of Jesus on Matthew 25:14-30, I was thinking that there are two ways to react to the situation with one bag of gold left. First, we can keep on studying with one bag of capacity. We do what we can do and leave the result to God. Second is holding the fear and anxiety of the limited one bag of capacity and not working on school work at all. I want to clarify that there is no shame and judgement if you choose the second one, because we are in different situations.
However, I want to point out that gaining one bag of gold with one bag of capacity takes courage, humility, and faith. It takes courage because it means we are moving one step forward while we are feeling tired, anxious, and fearful. It shows humility because the action of gaining another bag of gold is giving up satisfying our own sense of glory. We should understand that our effort means more than the result. It shows faith because we trust God will strengthen us and take care of the outcome.
This small action of keeping on studying might feel uncomfortable and stressful, but in this process, we are participating in spiritual discipline and practicing trusting God and studying with His strength. We might not see the blossom or the fruit right away, but as we keep working, may that suffering produce perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5: 3-5) May you experience the richness and joy of doing life with our God!
With many blessings,
Debbie Jin, MDiv student